Recently, a £50,000 pint of beer was exhibited in London – nope, not as an example of contemporary, postmodern art, but as a campaign from THINK!, to highlight the consequences of drunk driving in the UK.
According to research from The Institute of Advanced Motorists, the costs involved in drink-driving can reach between £20,000 and £50,000, when you take into consideration the fines, legal costs, heavy insurance premiums, and potential job losses, that arise from your conviction.
The cost of an extra drink can be eye-watering if you’re caught. You could even go to prison if you’re caught over the limit, and be banned from driving entirely for a number of years, which could nastily affect your personal and professional life.
Last year, more than 1,000 extra drivers were caught over the limit during the Christmas period, compared with previous years, so the police force is certainly cracking down on drivers who’ve had one too many sherries – that’s one way to put a dampener on your festive spirit and could spoil Xmas festivities for the whole family. In 2011 alone, more than 51,000 people were convicted of drink or drug driving, which just goes to show how prevalent this issue is.
The most common killer of young people, driving is an exceptionally dangerous business that can prove fatal for motorists.
What Do You Risk If You Get Behind The Wheel?
In 2011, 280 people died as a direct cause of drink driving. You can receive a fine of as much as £5,000, a one year (at least) driving ban, and a criminal record. And that’s only assuming that you don’t cause an accident.
What Lawfully Constitutes ‘Drunk Driving’?
If you have 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, or 107 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of urine, then you’re over the limit. Unfortunately, there’s no real way of you knowing the alcohol content in your system, as it depends on your weight, age, sex, metabolism, the alcohol, food, and your stress levels.
Insurance companies may even refuse to grant you insurance for your car, if you have a previous record of drink driving, as you’ll be dubbed “too high risk.” If you succeed, expect your premiums to go up by as much as 300% or 400%.
There’s very little you can do to bring down insurance costs, which sometimes makes driving too expensive. You can take a drink driving awareness course – that will help. You can also try swapping in your current car for a lower risk vehicle. These changes will make a dent in your insurance costs, but probably will act like a small wind barrier in a gale. Talk to drunk driving solicitors to discuss your options.
The only real solution is to think twice before drinking and driving. Choose a soft drink just in case; a pint is not worth the risk!
Being convicted of drink driving heavily impacts your life, largely because of the stigma attached to the crime. With this conviction on your records, you may struggle to secure a job or retain your current employment.